Trigger warning: self-harm

Sometimes I wonder how my fiancé (I alternate this word with husband but technically fiancé is the truth for 56 more days) is still here. He’s not always an angel but there are some days I have to remind myself I am deserving of his love because when I am triggered I am a mother f*cking handful. 

Scene: Friday night. I had gone out for drinks with some coworkers. Come home, he is on the phone with his sister and they are talking about the wedding. His sister is not my most favourite person. I have tried to reach out multiple times before just giving up trying to connect. 

He got off the phone we small talked about our day and he wanted to address the fact that his sister was confused about something (I don’t even remember what). They both have annoyingly long memories so I guess I said something over a year ago that she was hanging on to. 

Everything was fine until he said “it’s all your fault she thinks that.” 

And whoooosh. 

Tunnel vision, tears, panic. Hyperventilation. A need to escape. Screaming. We probably were yelling at each other. A half an hour of things I don’t remember the details of until I slowly come back into reality because he has realized I’m not just fighting that I’ve been triggered and manages to calm me down. 

My one wrist is bleeding. I’ve scratched it so hard in my panic it’s bled (the first time in 5 years). And I am completely exhausted. And I, in the moment, am everything I hate. 

I grew up with unpredictability of being a sibling of someone with severe mental illness. Random outbursts and self-harm, suicide attempts, police at our house, general violence were my norm. And my parents were always like “he can’t help it, you have to not trigger him. His outbursts are all your fault.” 

And I tried so hard to figure out the rules. 

Now in these moments where I lose it, where I am triggered, I am all that I hated about growing up. 

I’m proud at least that I figured this one out. That when I hear “this is your fault” I also hear you are a terrible, horrible, broken person. You don’t deserve anything nice in the world. You are the reason that people try to kill themselves. You misspoke and now everything is awful and the worst and how dare you assert your own needs. 

Of course, that’s not what my fiancé was saying. But it’s what I heard. 

I reached out to A after and she suggested I come in tomorrow if I want, so even though I will miss work (which I hate doing and my boss hates when it happens), and I don’t have the money right now, therapy has to take top spot. 

We will see what happens. I’m just tired of being triggered without realizing it and having to deal with the aftermath. For so long I had everything so (unhealthily) buried that I was a numb, emotionless person. And now that there is a crack in the armor everyone wants to come out and play and it’s tiring. 

I’m tired. 


3 thoughts on “Triggered

  1. PD,
    It is so exhausting getting triggered, especially because you’re thrown back to a time and place where you didn’t have enough resources to cope. But I do agree with you that you should be proud you figured out what was going on. We have these reactions so automatically and without thinking, that a lot of the battle is to become conscious of what we are doing. Becoming aware is the key to eventually getting more control (as in down the line, when someone says “it’s all your fault” you’ll be able to feel those reactions coming up and stop and say, oh yeah, that’s how it feels but I know that’s not true anymore, so let’s deal with what is actually going on.) The very hard painful work you’re doing now will lead to more freedom and energy down the road. Good thing to take to A.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks AG,

      Yea she and I had a very interesting discussion this morning about that (which I will likely blog about after work).

      It’s going to be a slow and long and painful road. But I have to hang on to the idea that it’s worth it


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